Many people find themselves admirers of artists, actors, or celebrities who may lead lives in opposition to their religious, philosophical, or political beliefs. Sometimes the views of these celebrities clash with our view of the world, and we subsequently rebuff their work. Other times we are acutely aware of who and what these individuals are but nonetheless watch their movies, listen to their music, and buy whatever product the peddle. Here is a list of celebrities that find popularity across a wide section of the population, but have liberal political leanings, or live a life that is diametrically opposed in some way to Catholic social teaching. Are you a fan despite the incongruity or is there something about their lives that turns you off to their work?
As you know, Ellen has her own syndicated talk show that is now in its seventh season, and has been contracted by American Idol to replace ousted judge Paula Abdul. She came out of the closet a few years ago and is in a long-term relationship since 2004 with the very beautiful Portia de Rossi. Personally, I don't like Degeneres. Not because she's a lesbian, but because she simply isn't all that funny. That dancing routine she does on her show is completely anserine (yes, anserine is a word).
American actor George Clooney has starred in such films as The Perfect Storm; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Syriana; Michael Clayton; and the upcoming film Men Who Stare at Goats. He is a highly sought after actor who can rake in big profits at the box office just by merely including his name on the credits. George, however, is extremely liberal, supporting many leftists politicians and slamming just as many conservative ones.
Sir Elton John
He's been singing and writing music with his long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin since the late 1960's, and has produced hits that are considered rock-n-roll classics. Everyone has heard "Bennie and the Jests", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", "Your Song" and "Candle in the Wind." He has a gig here in Vegas at the Caesars Palace called The Red Piano (which, by the way, still accepts reservations), and performs in sell-out concerts throughout the world. Elton, as you all know is gay, but has managed to remain an extremely popular music figure even after he came out of the closet. Are you a fan of Reginald (his real name) or do you find his music not to your liking because of his sexual orientation?
I'm not sure if Susan Sarandon has remained Catholic, but she definitely had strong connections to the Catholic faith as a child and then later as a student attending The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Susan is a huge supporter of liberal causes and liberal politicians. In the early to mid 2000's, she supported Ralph Nader for president and in 2004 threw her support behind John Kerry. She is also a supporter of EMILY'S List, a pro-abortion political action committee whose aim is to help pro-abortion politicians get elected. Sarandon has starred in such films as Lorenzo's Oil; Bull Durham; Thelma and Louise; the cult favorite The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 1995 she won an Oscar for her work in the film Dead Man Walking.
Actor Martin Sheen is a Catholic who has backed some of the most liberal politicians American politics can produce. He has played presidents on television and has been involved in many liberal causes throughout his entire career. In 2004 he campaigned for Howard Dean and John Kerry, and is a harsh critic of the war in Iraq. Having said that, according to Wikepedia, Martin Sheen is a supporter of the Democrats for Life of America's Pregnant Women Support Act. If this is true, Mr. Sheen scores major brownie points with me.
Some of you love her voice. I know that some of the more musically inclined members of a parish I used to attend love her to death, regardless of her political leanings. Streisand has enthusiastically supported Democratic party candidates since I can remember, and is a huge supporters of gay rights. In 1992 she publicly supported a boycott of Colorado when it passed a controversial referendum that gay and lesbian groups found to be discriminatory. By the way, in 1993 Kirk Kerkorian discreetly paid Streisand 20 million dollars to be the New Year's Eve headlining show at the MGM Grand Hotel.
"Republican comes in the dictionary just after reptile and just above repugnant...I looked up Democrat. It's of the people, by the people, for the people..." I once read that she married her first husband, Lyle Lovett, because she thought he looked like Abraham Lincoln. She is a strong supporter of Democratic candidates running for office.
Fr. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame
I'm not staying neutral on this one. This man is a disgrace. I have never heard him say anything but continued criticism of the Catholic Church. Take a hike and join the Episcopalians, will ya? They're not bad folks. However, some of you might actually like Father McBrien despite his, shall we say, perfidious tendencies.